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Your rights as a nursing home resident in New York (cont)

Transfer and Discharge

Resident Rights

You have the right to:
  • transfer to another room in the facility if you wish;

  • be given 30 days notice before transfer or discharge, except in cases where the resident is at risk of harming themselves or others, when the resident could be discharged earlier;

  • file an appeal to the New York State Department of Health in response to an involuntary transfer or discharge, for which a hearing can be held under the auspices of the Department;

  • examine your own medical records;

  • remain in the facility pending the appeal determination;

  • a post-transfer hearing within 30 days of transfer if you did not request a hearing prior to transfer; if you win the appeal you will return to the first available bed in the facility;

  • retain your bed if you have been involuntarily transferred until after the appeal decision is reached;

  • information such as the name, address and telephone number of the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman and the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.

Nursing Home Responsibility

The nursing home may transfer or discharge you:
  • only after the interdisciplinary care team, in consultation with you, determines:

  1. that the transfer or discharge is necessary for your welfare and your needs cannot be met after reasonable attempts at accommodation at the facility;

  2. that the transfer or discharge is appropriate because your health has improved sufficiently to the point where you no longer need the services provided by the facility;

  3. your health or safety or the health or safety of other individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered and all reasonable alternatives to transfer or discharge have been explored and have failed to safely address the problem;

  • when you have failed to pay for a stay at the facility after having received reasonable and appropriate notice from the facility or to have paid under Medicare, Medicaid or third-party insurance. For failure to pay, such transfer or discharge is permissible only if:

  1. a charge is not in dispute;

  2. no appeal of a denial of benefits is pending; or

  3. funds for payment are available, but you refuse to cooperate with the facility in obtaining them;

  • when it discontinues operation and has received approval of its plan of closure from the New York State Department of Health.

The nursing home must:
  • inform you and your designated representative, verbally and in writing, about bed reservation and readmission regulations at the time of your admission to the facility and again at the time of your transfer for any reason and/or for therapeutic leave;

  • readmit you, if you have been in residence at least 30 days, as soon as the first bed becomes available in a semi-private room if you were hospitalized, transferred or discharged on therapeutic leave without being given a bed hold when you require the services provided by the facility and are eligible for Medicaid;

  • completely document in your clinical records the reasons for the move;

  • before transferring or discharging you, notify you and a family member or designated representative both verbally and in writing (in a language and manner you understand) of the transfer or discharge and the reasons for it;

  • include in its written notice of transfer or discharge to you the following:

  1. a statement about your right to appeal to the New York State Department of Health, including the telephone number for the Department that can initiate an appeal;

  2. the name, address and telephone number of the state long term care ombudsman;

  3. if you are mentally ill or developmentally disabled, the mailing address and telephone number of the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, the agency that can advocate for you;

  • provide its notice of transfer or discharge to you at least 30 days prior to the expected date of transfer or discharge or, provide its notice to you as soon as practicable before transfer or discharge when:

  1. the health or safety of individuals in the facility would be endangered;

  2. your health improves sufficiently to allow a more immediate transfer or discharge;

  3. an immediate transfer or discharge is required by your urgent medical needs; or

  4. the transfer or discharge is made in compliance with your request;

  • provide sufficient preparation and orientation to you to ensure safe and orderly transfer or discharge from the facility, including an opportunity for you to participate in deciding where to go;

  • provide information to assist you in appealing a transfer or discharge by:

  1. seeing to it that you contact the appropriate state agency;

  2. calling upon your doctor and the facility staff to help you in examining and reviewing your medical records;

  3. working with the New York State Department of Health to make certain that the appeals determination is held, and that you are present if you desire

Required Postings

Nursing homes in New York State must post the following information in the facility, in a location easily accessible to residents and the public:

  • Summary of residents' rights and all rules and regulations governing resident conduct and responsibilities;

  • Information about how to apply for and use Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and how to receive refunds for previous payments covered by such benefits;

  • Information about advance directives or written instructions concerning important health care decisions, health care proxy and designation of a health care agent;

  • A schedule of the facility's current monthly activities;

  • The facility's visiting hours;

  • The date and time the facility will assess residents to determine the intensity of their needs;

  • The date and time the New York State Department of Health auditors will visit the facility to audit the Patient Review Instrument;

  • A statement that each resident has the right to know to which reimbursement category he or she has been assigned by the facility;

  • The person to contact in the facility for more information about resident assessment categories and reimbursement;

  • A New York State Division of Human Rights nondiscrimination regulatory poster (must be displayed in the Admissions Office).

  • Ensure that residents, employees or other person(s) may file complaints with or provide information to any long term care patient Ombudsman

  • The home shall make available for examination the results of the most recent survey of the facility conducted by federal or State surveyors including any statement of deficiencies, any plan of correction in effect with respect to the facility and any enforcement actions taken by the Department of Health. They shall be made available in a place readily accessible to residents and designated representatives without staffing assistance.

For Further Information

Centralized Complaint Intake Program

The New York State Department of Health's Centralized Complaint Intake hotline may be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to report concerns about nursing home care please visit our Complaints About Nursing Home Care website.

Nursing Home Regional Offices

During normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm), you may also contact the Health Department office in your area at the address and telephone number below:

Capital District Regional Office

Frear Building-2nd Floor Fulton Street Troy, New York 12180-3298 (518) 408-5300

Covering these counties: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

Western Region
Buffalo Office

584 Delaware Avenue Buffalo, New York 14202-1295 (716) 847-4320

Covering these counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming

Rochester Office

335 East Main Street Rochester, New York 14604 (585) 423-8020

Covering these counties: Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Wayne, Yates

Central New York Regional Office

217 South Salina Street Syracuse, New York 13202-3592 (315) 426-7696

Covering these counties: Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Tioga, Tompkins

Metropolitan Area Regional Office

New York City Office 90 Church Street, 15th Floor, LTCP/NH New York, New York 10007-2919 (212) 417-4999

Covering the five boroughs of New York: Bronx, Brooklyn (Kings County), Manhattan (New York County), Queens, Staten Island (Richmond County)

New Rochelle Office

145 Huguenot Street-6th Floor New Rochelle, New York 10801-5291 (914) 654-7058

Covering these counties: Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester

Long Island Office

Court House Corporate Center 320 Carlton Avenue, Suite 5000 Central Islip, New York 11722 (631) 851-3606

Covering these counties: Nassau, Suffolk

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

(800) 342-9871

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a federal advocacy program dedicated to protecting people living in long term care facilities. In New York State, the Office for the Aging operates the program though it's Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman. Ombudsmen spend an average of four to six hours a week in each of their assigned facilities, advocating for the residents.

New York State Office for the Aging (New York City)

(212) 962-2720

Additional Resources

The Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

(800) 624-4143

The Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities is responsible for the protection and advocacy system for developmentally disabled individuals and mentally ill individuals.

New York State Insurance Department

(800) 342-3736

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